What is it? With a scientific name derived from the Latin for “to cure” or “to save,” sage has been tapped for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. It’s a member of the mint family, along-side oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme and basil, and it is also used as a culinary spice and a fragrance in personal care products. 

Use it For

memory enhancement, cognitive performance, digestive issues, sore throat, menopause symptoms, blood sugar regulation 

The Science

While millennia of anecdotal evidence of sage’s benefits abounds, modern clinical trials are more limited. Several studies have shown it to improve memory and other cognitive functions in both healthy adults and those with Alzheimer’s disease. When combined with rhubarb, a sage cream clears up cold sores about as well as other medicinal creams. Research also suggests that sage supplements improve cholesterol levels and reduce menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes and night sweats. It may also ease digestion troubles and upper-respiratory infections, and reduce blood sugar levels. 

How To Take It 

Sage is available in capsules, extracts, tinctures, teas, essential oils and throat sprays. To receive memory benefits, it must be taken orally. Avoid excessive doses, because sage contains a component called thujone, which can harm the nervous system if you ingest  too much. 

Don’t confuse sage with desert sagebrush which is a of a different genus. 

Try this recipe for Vegan Pecan Sage Loaf.